Chronic Rhinitis (cont.)
Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip facts
- What is the purpose of the nose?
- What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What causes rhinitis?
- Is rhinitis always related to allergies?
- What conditions cause an abnormal production of nasal secretions?
- What conditions cause an impaired clearance of nasal secretions?
- How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?
- What medications can be used to treat rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What can be used to treat non-allergic rhinitis?
- Does salt water have any role in the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What are other options for the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
Rhinitis is a very common condition and has many different causes. Basically, rhinitis may be defined as inflammation of the inner lining of the nose. More specifically speaking, it may be defined by the presence of one or more of the following symptoms:
- Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- Nasal itching
- Nasal congestion
A significant association exists between rhinitis (allergic), asthma, and chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses for >12 weeks) in some individuals. Some evidence suggests that 1 to 3 of every 5 patients has multiple conditions.
Post-nasal drip is mucus accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to, or giving the sensation of, mucus dripping downward from the back of the nose. One of the most common characteristics of chronic rhinitis is post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip may lead to chronic sore throat, chronic cough, or throat clearing. Post-nasal drip can be caused by excessive or thick secretions, or impairment in the normal clearance of mucus from the nose and throat.
What causes rhinitis?
Rhinitis has many possible causes. Rhinitis can be either acute orchronic, and is categorized into three areas: allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis, and mixed rhinitis, which is a combination of the previous two.
Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of rhinitis, afflicting more than 32 million Americans. It is caused byenvironmental allergies and is characterized by an itchy/runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Other allergic symptoms include:
- itchy ears and throat,
- Eustachian tube problems (the tube connecting the inner ear to the back of the throat),
- red/watery eyes,
- fatigue/loss of concentration/lack of energy from loss of sleep, and
- headaches or facial tenderness (not typical).
People with allergic rhinitis also have a higher incidence of asthma and eczema, which are also mainly allergic in origin.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is usually caused by pollen in the air, and sensitive patients have symptoms during peak times during the year.
Perennial allergic rhinitis, a type of chronic rhinitis is a year-round problem, and is often caused by indoor allergens (particles that cause allergies), such as dust and animal dander in addition to pollens that may exist at the time. Symptoms tend to occur regardless of the time of the year.
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